Homeland Security chief Napolitano to speak at Michigan Cyber Summit hosted by Governor Snyder and Eastern Michigan University on Oct. 7

EMU site of national kickoff event for White House declaration of October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

by Geoff Larcom, Published October 05, 2011

YPSILANTI – Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, will be among the featured speakers at The Michigan Cyber Summit, to be held Friday, Oct. 7 at Eastern Michigan University's Marriott Eagle Crest Hotel and Convention Center. 

The event serves as the official kickoff for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. EMU, which assisted in the planning and staging of the summit, is the initial site of a series of events across the nation intended to spread cybersecurity awareness to states and communities.  The event follows the highly successful conference at EMU, "Cyber Security in the 21st Century," which drew more than 300 high school students to campus last April.

"Every company, school, and family should use October as an opportunity to focus on cybersecurity - (to) update training, attend or host an event, or talk to your children about responsible use of the Internet, " White House Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President Howard Schmidt wrote on a White House blog post this week.

The Summit is a partnership between the state, EMU and various levels of government, including local collaboration from groups such as the Washtenaw County Cyber Citizenship Coalition (http://washtenawcybercoalition.org/). Washtenaw County Commissioner Kristin Judge played a key role in securing the event and bringing it to EMU.

"Eastern Michigan University has been a wonderful partner to the Washtenaw Cyber Coalition, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome our federal and state partners here this week to highlight the important issue of online safety," Judge said.  

The summit will bring together a variety of experts, including EMU professor Skip Lawver, to address a critical range of cybersecurity issues affecting business, education, information technology, law enforcement and personal use.  The event will run from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Other keynote speakers will include Schmidt and Congressmen John Dingell. Napolitano is scheduled to speak at 8:55 a.m., with Schmidt to speak at 9:15 a.m. Governor Rick Snyder will provide a welcome at 8:50 a.m.

The summit is hosted by Snyder and coordinated by his office, with assistance from EMU and area local governments. After introductory remarks, the summit will offer consecutive panel discussions on cybersecurity. Questions will include how to build a trusted global platform and what that could mean for networking, commerce and government services.

After lunch, afternoon sessions will look at cybersecurity from a variety of perspectives, including:

•Business: Solutions for protecting data, networks, Wi-Fi and employee accounts.

• Education: Solutions for educators, including cyber bullying, sexting and using social media in the classroom. Serving as moderator will be Lawver, who is Program Coordinator for the EMU Information Assurance Program in the School of Technology Studies, along with the Director of the Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance at Eastern Michigan.

• Home users/families: Issues such as smart phone safety, online purchasing and banking, phishing scams, identity theft and protecting children online.

 • Law enforcement: Solutions for preventing and responding to cyber crime, plus creating a local coalition to raise awareness and educate residents on cyber safety.

• Government: State, local and federal issues, challenges and solutions for government security professionals.

The State of Michigan has long been a national leader in cybersecurity, having placed a high emphasis on protecting the state's computer systems and networks. 

For more information about the event, see the Web site at: http://events.esd.org/

For information about Michigan initiatives and news on cybersecurity, see the Web site at www.michigan.gov/cybersecurity




Geoff Larcom



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